Last week, Google Instant. This week, New Twitter, specially designed to hold visitors on site for longer, increase engagement and maximize in-stream ad awareness.
Twitter yesterday announced a completely rebuilt Twitter.com, together with 16 new media partnerships and a new layout that emulates several aspects of Facebook. Twitter.com’s new incarnation is optimized for mobile, in-stream video and pictures, and integrates trending topics and lists more effectively.
It means that online marketers can now promote a video or a picture, safe in the knowledge that it will be displayed even without the user clicking on the link, and that it will be formatted efficiently for mobile devices such as the iPad. This is Twitter’s next step towards providing increased monetization opportunities.
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You may not be able to see the new layout yet. Twitter is rolling it out to users over a period of several days, or even weeks. They do have an informative post on the Twitter blog. Warning: the accompanying video is especially irritating.
Despite the plethora of desktop and mobile Twitter clients, the fact is that Twitter.com is still the most popular Twitter client, accounting for well over 50% of traffic. And with all of the major online players developing and launching new features every few months, Twitter’s home page has been long overdue for a revamp. This new version addresses many of the weaknesses in the interface and also has allowed improvements to the underlying site architecture.
The Twitter fail whale has been very apparent in the last few months as their infrastructure creaks under the 90 million tweets a day they are now clocking up. And with 370,000 new sign-ups a day the need for a more robust offering was becoming urgent. The new Twitter.com will go a long way to help.
The take-away from the announcement is that Twitter is focusing on two aspects of their user experience. First, discovery of content. The new partnerships with services such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, UStream and TwitVid are intended to streamline the user experience for newbies. They want to stress that just as one doesn’t need a website to use the Web, so one doesn’t need to tweet to use Twitter. There’s a lot on Twitter for everyone to discover, is the pitch. It may even be true.
Secondly, they’re focused on mobile. 16% of new sign-ups are via mobile devices. Twitter’s new two-pane layout means that location services and maps are going to be presented much more effectively, and with the 140-character limit, Twitter’s roots lie in mobile services. Bearing in mind Google’s relative failure with Google Buzz, and the new partnerships between Twitter and YouTube, perhaps we may yet see a new Google bid for Twitter after all?